“Courageous Conner” Tackles the Dairy and Veal Industries Through the Pages of a Children’s Book

courageousconnercover18lo-dropAuthor Heather Leughmyer has added another book to her Kindness to Animals series—this one tackling the not-so-hidden dirty secrets of the dairy and veal industries—and does it all through the pages of a rhyming children’s book.

In the story, Courageous Conner is torn from his mother and faces two challenges: can he be brave enough to find his way back to her side, and will they, together, escape the cruel conditions they find themselves in?

Unwanted calves from the dairy industry are routinely ripped from loving mothers, their flesh turned into the meal of an unthinking or uncaring consumer.

Heather, a long time vegan activist, excels at creating rhyming children’s stories, and is using her gift to create a series advocating for Kindness to Animals. Courageous Conner is the third book in the series, which so far features Adopting Adele and Brave Benny, too. Heather plans to work her way through the alphabet, creating children’s books featuring the many animals who need a little kindness in today’s society.

Courageous Conner is perfect for ages 6 and up, and excellent for both humane education and library and family story time. The book is currently available in both paperback and kindle, and coming soon in audio.

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle

Book Sample:

Little Conner was born on the 3rd day of June, to a proud mama cow, one warm afternoon. His mom gently cleaned him, as a good mother would, then he wiggled and wobbled, until finally he stood.

She gave him soft kisses on his velvety head, then faintly he mooed; Conner now needed fed. He found mama’s milk; it was pleasingly sweet. When his tummy was full, he took a nap at her feet.

But his dreams were cut short by the cries of another; someone was taking a calf from his mother! Conner stayed silent as he cowered in fear; he looked up at his mom as the human drew near…

About the Author:

Heather Leughmyer graduated from Indiana-Purdue University with a B.A. in English Writing and Linguistics. She is a dedicated vegan, animal rights activist and animal rescuer.

Writing has been a passion of hers for as long as she has advocated for animals. By telling their stories and illustrating their pain she hopes to touch a few hearts and change a few minds with her words.

Heather is the author of If Your Tears Were Human, Adopting Adele, Brave Benny, Courageous Conner, and co-editor of Rescue Smiles. She lives in Columbia City, Indiana, with her husband, daughter and several animal companions.

About the Illustrator:

Our whimsical artist, April Pedersen, is a freelancer based in Reno, Nevada. She is partial to frogs, geocaching, science fiction, video poker, and chess.

April is the illustrator of Adopting Adele, Brave Benny, Bravo’s Freedom, Happy Dog Coloring Book, and Courageous Conner.

 

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5 Questions with “The Kitty with the Itty-Bitty Tail” Narrator Stephanie Belinda Quinn

kittycoveraudio-loHere at Who Chains You Books, we are always in awe of the talent of our book narrators, and Stephanie Belinda Quinn—narrator of The Kitty with the Itty-Bitty Tail—is no exception.

She gives the audience a sneak peek into her world on her website: “I’m a word-slinger and all-around dippy gal who creates voices chock-full of goosepimply warm-and-fuzzies, soaked through with bust-a-gut-funny. If you and your kids have video games, there’s a good chance you’ve spent time with me in your house and you didn’t even know it.

I lend a hand to mega-talented producers, directors, production companies, game developers, animation studios, toy makers, publishers, ad agencies, and other need-a-great-voice types worldwide by creating character voices that attract die-hard fans so they can make major moolah doing what they love to do.”

We asked her five questions, so we could get to know her better, and now you can too.

Here’s what she told us:

StephanieQuinn1. How did you get into book narration, and how long have you been doing it?

I combined my love of theater with my desire for a home business, and decided voice acting was perfect. I built a recording studio in my home, learned audio production, and was in business. I’ve been at it for about seven years now.

2. How many books have you narrated?

Eighty-three. (What? Wow!)

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Stephanie’s kitty Little Angel hanging out in the studio with her

3. What made you choose The Kitty with the Itty-Bitty Tail to narrate?

Children’s projects are my specialty, and I love kitty-cats. Plus I knew it would be an awesome book to record the second I saw the title. ( I mean, come on!) When I read the story, said awesomeness was confirmed, and I was thrilled to get started. It’s a great story.

4. What other fun projects have you taken on with your narration skills?

I specialize in audiobooks, video games, animation, and toys, so pretty much everything I record is fun. I especially like voicing animals and other non-humans (unicorns, space aliens, fairies) because I get to be really creative. I voiced a crab once that still makes me giggle. 

5. What do you do to cut loose and have fun, besides narration?

I have a kitty of my own ( Little Angel, see her above) and a wonderful husband who both cut loose with me. I’m also a tap dancer, artist, musician, stargazer, and metal-detecting treasure hunter.

To learn more about Stephanie, and see the other fun and creative projects she’s worked on, visit her site at this link: http://stephaniebelindaquinn.com/

To get your copy of The Kitty with the Itty-Bitty Tail in Audiobook, Paperback, or Kindle, visit this link: https://www.amazon.com/Kitty-Itty-Bitty-Tail/dp/B079P75MLV/

The Kitty With the Itty-Bitty Tail—a Great Humane Education AND Anti-Bulling Tool for Classrooms and Family Reading Time

kittycoverlo-dropJust Released, in its 3rd Edition: The Kitty with the Itty-Bitty Tail, by Sandra Biersdorfer.

“Look who’s coming down the hall! It’s Stubby Nubby, her tail so small!”

Most of us have experienced being made fun of or called names that hurt our feelings. Meet Ethel Kitty who doesn’t like being called names—like “Stubby Nubby”—just because she has a smaller tail than the other cats at school. Read along in this tale of tails as the new cat in town helps Ethel realize she is special despite her “shortcomings” and teaches her how to stand up to bullies.

In its third edition, author Sandra Biersdorfer adds playful song lyrics and talks about the real Ethel who inspired the tale. Perfect for ages 7 and up, The Kitty with the Itty-Bitty Tail will delight readers big and small, and fit flawlessly into school humane education and bullying programs.

The book is currently available in both Paperback and Kindle, and will soon be out in Audio, too.

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle

ISBN-13: 978-1-946044-20-4

About the Author

authorphotoSandra Biersdorfer, a native of East Texas, has been an avid reader since childhood. Some of her favorite books are the Nancy Drew mysteries and The Little House on the Prairie series. She is an advocate for reading and enjoys reading to children and visiting schools as much as possible to share her love of reading and becoming an author.

Sandra currently lives in Nacogdoches, Texas, with her two feline fur babies Shadow, an adopted male black domestic short hair, and Ethel. Ethel is a rescue kitty, too, and is the subject of Sandra’s second published children’s book, The Kitty with the Itty-Bitty Tail, because she does indeed have an itty-bitty tail. Her first children’s book, Nana’s Banana, was published in 2014, and her third, Papa’s Pumpkin, was published in 2017.

Sandra enjoys reading, writing, watching movies, and spending time with family and friends including her two grown children. Her son is a Math major at Stephen F. Austin State University, and her daughter is a high school English teacher in Katy ISD.

Buy in Paperback | Buy on Kindle

ISBN-13: 978-1-946044-20-4

Who Chains You Publishing Supports Humane Education in its Quest to Promote Kindness to Animals for Today’s Youth

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Humane Education is one of the most important tools we have to engender a sense of kindness in future generations. By breaking the chain of cruelty to animals through direct communication with youth in schools, we create a more caring society, for humans as well as animals. Our wholesale program is perfect to assist Humane Educators in teaching our youth about animal issues in society.

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We offer wholesale pricing of only $6.50 per book (with FREE Shipping—U.S. ONLY, please contact us for shipping to other countries), mix and match, to humane educators—and every book is available for the program. There is a 10 book minimum order for this program, after that the sky’s the limit!

Even better, for humane educators who need books in higher quantities, orders of 50+ books are only $6.00 each, a savings of over 50% off retail.

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Are you a humane educator in need of books? Then look no further! If you have questions or special needs, or would like to ask about other wholesale opportunities, email us at info@whochainsyou.com for more information.

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Interested in checking out all our available books? Please use the order form on our site to check availability and place your order.

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Our books are already in use in classrooms and libraries by teachers nationwide, like Sonya Wilson, pictured left.

Humane Educator Susan Hergert took books from Who Chains You to her first school visit. She writes in her blog: “When it was all over, I gave the students some books to keep there. They were thrilled with the selections and began to immediately read them! I truly wished I had brought more…a book for each child, perhaps. As I left, I told Nancy that I will bring more in the future.”

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Calling all Humane Educators:

Let us know what other topics or animal issues you are interested in sharing with students, and the age ranges you’d like the books to fit. We’d be happy to get our authors brainstorming book ideas for your topic of interest. Leave us a comment, below, with your suggestions. Thank you for caring about the kids and the animals!

Now Out! I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found: Daisy and the Olympic Animal Sanctuary Rescue

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On the far side of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, halfway between the mountains and the ocean, stands the little town of Forks. In that town, in a quiet neighborhood of modest homes and shabby businesses, there remains a dilapidated pink warehouse.

Packed inside that warehouse, living in deplorable conditions, were once over 120 dogs. Some of the dogs were kept in crates piled high on shelves, arranged in rows along the walls, and shoved into corners behind heaps of garbage and urine-saturated straw. Some of the dogs were confined to wire-sided or glassed-in kennels. One was kept in an old horse trailer. Dead ones were stored in a cooler.

In one of the crates was a black dog named Daisy. This is her story.

It is also the story of the rescue of one hundred and twenty-four dogs—and one snake—from the Olympic Animal Sanctuary, the only large-scale dog rescue in the U.S. to be carried out with no support from local government. The OAS rescue was an epic narrative that extended over several years and featured small town politics, protests, assault, lawsuits, arrests, and a midnight escape, all played out to a nationwide audience.

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to our Charity of the Year

About the Author

laurakoerbercolorLaura Koerber is an artist and writer who lives on an island with her husband and her two dogs. Her first book, The Dog Thief and Other Stories (written as Jill Kearney), was listed by Kirkus Review as one of the Hundred Best Books of 2015. She’s the author of The Listener’s Tale, I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found, and the upcoming The Shapeshifter’s Tale, and Limbo. She is also a contributing author to Rescue Smiles.

Here are some of the author’s thoughts on the book, written to her FB page last evening:

Okay, so here it is at long last. Or it seems like at long last to me, since I started working on it about two years ago.

The OAS rescue was a tremendously meaningful experience to a lot of people and the meanings are as varied as the people. It is not one story. It is hundreds of stories.

It is a fundraiser for OAS rescues, as I’m donating all my portion of sales to those who took in the dogs. Also, any nonprofit rescues can order books at reduced cost from the publisher, set their own price, and sell the book as a fundraiser to their supporters and the public.

Interested in selling this book as a fundraiser for your nonprofit? All books are $6.50 for nonprofits and indie bookstores (mix and match), which includes shipping. You can order in bulk from our nonprofit ordering page here: http://whochainsyou.com/nonprofitorder.html

What is the book about? My goal was to use the story of Daisy’s odyssey through the Olympic Animal Sanctuary as an overview of what happened, but also as a vehicle for informing readers about hoarders, failed rescues, law enforcement issues, trainers and behaviorists, and actions people can take when they become aware of abuse or neglect. The people named in the book are the ones who were named in the press or on TV. About twenty dogs are mentioned as illustrations of various points made in the text, such as the condition of dogs when rescued. The book is written in first person as a narrative with some sections written more formally. There are lots of photos, courtesy of many people who stepped up along the way, and from the Forks police files.

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Photo by Ernst-Ulrich Schafer, http://www.ernstschafer.com/

Shari Forst provided a story about Cream to illustrate how a behaviorist works with a dog and I added a tribute to Old Man Tucker just because…I think I would have loved him if I had ever had a chance to meet him. There is also a piece written by Jim Crosby who did the evaluations of the final dogs which is included to show how a real professional evaluates a dog. The cover features a very lovely artistic shot from professional photographer Ernst-Ulrich Schafer.

The book is not a comprehensive chronicle of everyone, every dog and everything that happened. For example, it does not include the long process of placing dogs after they got to Arizona.

In the end, I wanted the book to be uplifting. I hope it will inspire people who are not active in rescue to get active. I do hope that the people who were involved in the rescue, even if they are not specifically mentioned, will know that I wrote it in honor of all of you. Thank you.

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to our Charity of the Year

Old Wounds and a New Book: Thoughts on her Upcoming Olympic Animal Sanctuary book, by Laura Koerber

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Debris piled outside the pink shed in Forks, WA where many dogs lost their lives.

A note about an Upcoming book from Who Chains You Publishing: I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found, by author Laura Koerber.

Laura has put out the following statement about the meaning behind the work she’s done to bring this story of Daisy and what she and the other dogs went through there:

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Author Laura Koerber

“I am almost done with a book about the rescue of the Olympic Animal Sanctuary dogs.

For some people that sentence is very meaningful and will trigger an emotional response: heartbreak, rage, love, awe, gratitude…

For others, that sentence means nothing, but I hope to change that.

My reaction is complex and varied. On one level, it is a story. An amazing and inspiring story about protests, assault, lawsuits, arrests and an attempt by the abuser to run away with over one hundred dogs packed in a semi truck. On another level, it is a reality, the reality of a great wrong that was done, a wrong that was righted for some, but not for all. And the victims, the dogs that experienced the wrong, are getting old and dying off. I can’t think of them without oscillating between anger, tears, and gratitude. I don’t want their suffering to be forgotten.

After all, the OAS dogs are by no means the only ones to have suffered in the hands of a hoarder, or a failed rescue or a puppymill. There are thousands of dogs and other animals suffering the same kind of abuse right now as you read this. And all over the US, local authorities either refuse to act or actively support the abusers.

The rescue was done because of activists using Facebook. Yes, the notorious social media, supposedly a fever swamp of vindictive inaccuracies. The whistleblower alerted the world of the abuse through Facebook and hundreds of people got organized and engaged in a wide range of activities to free the dogs by using Facebook. People wrote consumer fraud complaints, organized protests, communicated with local officials, raised money, and, after about a year of effort, freed the dogs. Freed the ones that survived.

That’s the part that hurts my heart. Not all of them survived.

Goodby Mario, Lexy, Rocket. I am so sorry Phoenix, Doc, Suki and Malakai. Run free, Dixie and Abel.

But I don’t want their deaths to be for nothing. The OAS rescue is a model that other people could use against abusers in their vicinity. The book is, in a way, a recipe, a how-to guide.

The title is “I Once Was Lost, but Now I’m Found”. The book follows the life of one OAS dog, Daisy, before she was sent to the Olympic Animal Sanctuary, while she was incarcerated there, her trip on the truck to Arizona, and her return home to a family here in Washington state. Along the way the book includes information on hoarders, rescues, trainers and behaviorists, difficulties with law enforcement, and other issues of interest to people who care about the well-being of animals.

The author plans to donate her proceeds to animal groups caring for the rescued dogs.

New Young Adult Novel by Author Tamira Thayne Finds Creative Ways to Highlight Dog Chaining, Cat Dissection

wrathcover-lodropAnimal activist Tamira Thayne loved to read paranormal novels, and one of her dreams was to write one herself someday.

Trouble was, although she’d spent 13 years writing about dog chaining and dog foster parenting as founder of the nonprofit organization Dogs Deserve Better, she’d never considered any kind of storyline for a novel.

But then it hit her: What if the chained dog in the story was actually a lot MORE than he appeared to be? And what if he could somehow rise up and take vengeance on those who treated him so poorly?

(I mean really, don’t all animal activists daydream about the animals rising up against those who torment them?)

And so, the idea for The Wrath of Dog was born. While Thayne plans for a three-five book series, she’s already at work on a prequel short story entitled “The King’s Tether.”

The Wrath of Dog is available now in paperback, Kindle, and Kindle Unlimited. A signed copy can be ordered directly from the author on our website as well.

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to Unchained Melodies Dog Rescue

About the Book:

The hairy beast growled and lunged at Baylee, his rusted logging chain straining to break—like it did every morning she cut down his back alley.

She hadn’t dubbed him “The Wrath of Dog” for nothin’.

She’s vowed that someday she’ll free Wrath and they’ll rise up and smite his obviously nasty owner. For today, though, she just needs to get past him without dying and make it the two blocks to class before the bell rings and she has another detention headed her way.

Wrath’s plight is soon forgotten when her refusal to dissect a kitty earns her another trip to Principal Baird’s office. Things go from bad to worse, and before long she’s hearing voices in her head, decamping the school premises with a band of zombie cats, and learning that The Wrath of Dog is a lot more than she bargained for.

Next thing she knows she’s avoiding her best friend, learning she’s not quite human, and taking on an unseen enemy to save the day, her family, and just maybe two worlds in the process.

Becoming an adult sure isn’t what she thought it would be…

About the Author:

tamijewelonyxloTamira Thayne always wished she could smite a nasty dog chainer, but it seems that’s frowned upon in today’s society—so she’s writing about it instead. She settled for pioneering the anti-tethering movement in America, forming and leading the nonprofit Dogs Deserve Better for 13 years.

During her time on the front lines of animal activism and rescue she took on plenty of bad guys (often failing miserably); her swan song culminated in the purchase and transformation of Michael Vick’s dogfighting compound to a chained-dog rescue and rehabilitation center. She’s spent 878 hours chained to a doghouse on behalf of the voiceless in front of state capitol buildings nationwide, and worked with her daughter to take on a school system’s cat dissection program, garnering over 100,000 signatures against the practice.

She’s the author of Foster Doggie Insanity and Capitol in Chains, and the co-editor of Unchain My Heart and the upcoming Rescue Smiles. In 2016 she founded Who Chains You, publishing books by and for animal activists and rescuers.

The Wrath of Dog is available now in paperback, Kindle, and Kindle Unlimited. A signed copy can be ordered directly from the author on our website as well.

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to Unchained Melodies Dog Rescue

You’ll Enjoy this Excerpt from “The Dog Thief and Other Stories”, Out Soon in Audiobook, Too!

dogthief-chosen-loThere’s a reason Kirkus Review named The Dog Thief one of its Best Indie Books…it’s just that good.

We’ve chosen it as our first audiobook, and we’re happy to announce it’s gone into production with Wes Super, and will be available by late June.

In the meantime, we hope you’ll enjoy this excerpt from “The Dog Thief” novella.

The Dog Thief

How it All Started

Lucky, the three-legged pitbull, escaped from confinement in the tool shed by chewing his way through the rotten boards of the wall. He emerged, blinking in the sunlight, just as Donald opened his front door to toss some trash out into the yard. Donald gave a yell and charged down the steps. Lucky galloped across the yard and took off down the narrow dirt track that led through the woods to the paved road at the bottom of the hill.

Lucky ran like a dog having a fit. With only one front leg, he tended to throw to the left and stayed upright only because of his momentum.

At the bottom of the hill a Berlin Wall of moldy eight-by-four plywood sheets hid a collection of ramshackle homemade dwellings. Cats drifted between the cabins, cruising for mice or tidbits of garbage. An old pickup quietly disintegrated in the mud in front of the main dwelling. Only the community totem, a soggy MIA flag drooping on a pole, could be seen from the dirt road.

Three people stood by the open gate in the plywood wall and watched Lucky’s clumsy three-legged race down the hill. They said nothing as the dog arrived, panting and exhausted, to collapse at their feet.

They knew who the dog belonged to, so they waited expectantly, watching the road. A few moments later a fat pale man in overalls arrived at a trot and halted, sweaty and breathless, at the property line.

“That’s…my…sister’s…dog,” he gasped. He had a large shapeless head from which ears sprouted like pink mushrooms. His loose wet mouth betrayed weakness, but his tiny eyes had the strength of pigheaded stupidity. He took up a stance like a gunslinger and attempted belligerence. “Give him here.”

“No,” said Blacksnake. “Fuck off.”

Blacksnake was wearing combat clothes. Judging by the smell, it was the same uniform he’d brought back from Vietnam. He had a sizable pot belly, a gray ponytail, and a cynical gaze. His two friends, a scrappy one-eyed woman and a tank-shaped Native American, also wore hodgepodges of military garb. All three were old, but looked like they might have been pretty tough back in the day.

The fat man had never been tough. He blinked, sputtered, and started a rant, waving one pink finger in the air. “My mother gave that dog to my sister. He was stolen by these dope dealers. There’s a gang of dope dealers hanging around my house…”

“Your sister is dead,” Blacksnake rarely made eye contact, but now he directed a glare straight at the fat man. “I said fuck off, Donny.”

Stand-off. The dog sprawled in the dirt, worried brown eyes tracking the conversation. The three people didn’t move, and their bodies melded into a wall as dirty and mean-looking as their plywood barricade. Muttering threats, the fat man backed away. The three watched silently, not bothering to jeer, as he turned and shuffled up the track toward his home.

And that’s how Lucky, the three-legged pitbull, was rescued by Blacksnake and his crew. It was an impulse born of a marriage between spite and kindness. No one realized at the time that this simple act would set off a cascade of events including a series of miracles and a felony.

Want to read more?

Buy on Amazon | Buy on Kindle | Buy from Createspace and $1 Will be Donated to Unchained Melodies Dog Rescue

Who Chains Us as Animal Advocates? What Stops You from Making Your Best Strides for the Animals?

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When one applies the “First, Do No Harm” principle to everyday life, feeling a need to extend protection to animals is a no-brainer, and should be the obligation of every human on the planet.

What is “Do No Harm”?

From Reflections on Ethics by Paul Sharkey: It is commonly believed that the principle “First, do no harm” originated with the physician’s oath and is circumscript with the practice of medicine. It did not and it is not. As a moral principle, refraining from doing harm is both much more fundamental and much more universal than that. It forms the very foundation of the moral teachings of the founders of at least two of the world’s major religions and was so central to the life and teachings of Socrates that he literally chose to die rather than transgress it. Fully understanding, appreciating and following this principle is, I believe, key to following a life which is at once, fully human, fully alive, and fully virtuous.

Unfortunately, many people in our world—including our current government—do not live by this motto, and regularly visit harm on both humans and animals without sparing it a second thought. For those who do agree with “Do No Harm” (in theory at least), the welfare of animals is not considered important enough to fall under the principle, and so they apply it solely to humans.

The result is that very few folks who are not actively involved in the animal movement outwardly agree with or support broad protective efforts on behalf of the animals. They are all too quick to brush such efforts to the side in order to advocate for the ‘important human issues’, or dismiss them out of hand.

Where does that leave animal activists and rescuers? “Chained”, and full of negative emotions such as anger, frustration, and fear.

Who Chains Animal Advocates?

Any campaign on behalf of the animals has more than its fair share of adversaries. Law enforcement and society at large actively protect animal users and abusers from every walk of life. This includes but is not limited to: dog chainers, animal food producers, animal food consumers, rodeos and circuses, and pet animal mills.

All too often any human who helps a suffering animal ends up arrested.

There are very real emotional hurdles for an animal advocate to conquer in order to take a stand for the animals. These include, but are not limited to, the following five areas:

1. Fear of Standing Up and being Physically or Mentally Attacked by Animal Abusers

When one decides to take a public stance against any form of animal use and abuse, a primal fear of death must first be mastered before an advocate can and will put him/herself on the line for others. The chances of suffering either physical or emotional abuse for taking a stand for the voiceless is at virtually 100%. People who abuse animals without a thought have no compunction about doing the same to any human who gets in their way; therefore, those who desire to advocate for animals have to first face their fears and decide to act anyway.

2. Fear of Arrest

Any activist or rescuer working on behalf of animals faces arrest if they are engaged in front line efforts. Being arrested and dragged through the court system is not only scary, but affects one’s career and life outside of animal work, one’s pocketbook, and can even end in a felony and jailtime. That’s a lot of fear to get past in order to do what anyone with a heart would consider ‘the right thing’!

3. Anger that Even though there are Cruelty Laws on the Books, these Laws Don’t Protect the Animals

Virtually every state has cruelty laws on the books that go along the lines of “every animal must have food, water, shelter.” Not only do these laws often get completely ignored, any activist or rescuer who—forced to make a life or death decision on behalf of the animal—takes it into her/his hands to provide the animal the care and nutrition they need and deserve is labeled a vigilante at best, and “worse than the worst hardened criminal” at worst. (That’s what the D.A. said about me when I rescued a dog name Doogie from deplorable conditions in PA.)

Watching the suffering of animals and feeling as though your hands are tied to do anything about it leads to 24/7 anger and stress, which takes a debilitating toll on an animal advocate’s physical and mental well-being.

4. Frustration with People who Claim to LOVE Animals, while Refusing to Lift a Finger to Help

The animal movement is hard-pressed for willing volunteers. While so many people pay lip service to loving animals, the truth is that most won’t show up for fundraisers or foster an animal, let alone stop eating them. The hypocrisy of the situation is a source of endless frustration to animal advocates; and, worse, they are forced to keep these feelings inside for fear of offending donors and potential volunteers. Pushed down inside, these negative emotions brew up a nasty cocktail of physical and mental maladies, with ailments beginning to show up more and more regularly.

5. Fear of Failure in Helping the Animals

No one likes to fail. When we do suffer a failure in helping the animals, we are hit with a double whammy showcasing our own feelings of inadequacy sandwiched with highlights of guilt and shame for letting the animals down too. Soon an advocate may give up trying because the pain of failing again is just too daunting.

Compassion Fatigue

From my book, Foster Doggie Insanity: Just what is Compassion Fatigue Syndrome, anyway? In a nutshell, it is caused by the pain of witnessing or bearing repeated trauma while caring for others (in our case, animals) and putting the care of others before ourselves. We see no end to the need and no way to make it stop. The resulting apathy, detachment, inability to express emotions, and substance abuse heads a long list of manifestations now associated with and labeled as Compassion Fatigue Syndrome.

Most on the front lines of animal rescue and activism are at danger of developing Compassion Fatigue and/or PTSD, depending on how much abuse they are taking and how much self-care they are practicing while they are going through it.

Animal Advocates Deserve Better

You all deserve better than this ending, and I’d like to see us ALL practicing self-care on a daily basis in order to prop us up, allow us to keep working in the movement, and making a difference for the animals.

When we become sidelined due to PTSD and/or Compassion Fatigue, that’s one less heart and soul in the fight to end their abuse.

And they truly are the voiceless without us.

Why I Like Tapping for Animal Advocates

I like tapping for those in the animal activist and rescue movements because it focuses on REMOVING NEGATIVE EMOTIONS that are held in the body.

Practiced daily, it can and will set you on a positive path, even when you’re embroiled in front-line pain on an everyday basis. Watch the video below to get you started, and visit the founder of Tapping, Gary Craig’s website to immerse yourself and help you work through childhood ‘stuff’ that gets in the way of healing.

Once the Negative’s Out, Bring in the Positive

While it’s essential to release that negative each and every day, it’s also essential to fill the remaining ‘hole’ with positivity! Find a way that works for you, but opening your heart chakra (picture it right where your heart is, so open that heart!) to receive good things for you and the animals is crucial. The more time you can spend each day with an open heart (even though it makes you feel vulnerable, do it anyway!) the better your life will be and the more positive responses you will draw into your life.

If you’re working hard for the animals, let me be the first to commend and thank you. Please work on your self-care each and every day, as you deserve so much better than to be embroiled in pain for advocating for those we all love.

Have a great week!

Tamira Thayne is the founder of Who Chains You Books and Spiritual Mentoring, and the pioneer of the anti-chaining movement in America. She spent 13 years on the front lines of chained-dog activism and rescue as founder and CEO of Dogs Deserve Better. She is the author of Foster Doggie Insanity: Tips and Tales to Keep your Kool as a Doggie Foster Parent, and Capitol in Chains: 54 Days of the Doghouse Blues. To book a one-on-one session with Ms. Thayne, visit the website at http://www.whochainsyou.com/activism.html.

Been Told You’re ‘Too Sensitive’ for Caring About the Animals? Four Challenges Sensitive People Can Overcome to Make a Difference

 

Are you an animal activist or rescuer who’s been repeatedly told you’re ‘too sensitive’ for caring about animals? You are not alone.

One of the Universe’s little ironies is that the most sensitive among us are the ones tasked with doing one of the most difficult jobs…protecting the animals.

Yet this very same sensitivity—the gift of the ability to empathize, to put ourselves into the shoes, hooves, or paws of another being—puts us at greater risk for pain, depression, and immense suffering, whether we are following through with our chosen mission or not.

There are four hurdles to be overcome in working for the animals which can prove especially challenging to the sensitive soul.

1. Overcoming the Fear of Taking Action

Sensitive folks believe they’ve come to this planet to make a difference. When that difference is scary, such as advocating for animals left out on chains, animals that end up on peoples’ plates, or animals that are used for the amusement of humans, the fear—real and imagined—is amped up accordingly.

There exists the possibility that when one stands in the face of violence against animals, jail, physical and emotional harm, or even death can result. To the sensitive soul these confrontations with amoral people loom large and menacing.

The probability of failure is high, and even when there are successes to tide you over, the greater likelihood is that there remains a continued chance of defeat in each mission you undertake. Those who are sensitive take these failures more personally, believing that it’s all their fault—and just maybe they are not good people—if they can’t succeed.

2. Overcoming Debilitating Pain for and on Behalf of The Animals

For those of us who love animals, the thought of eating them, chaining them, caging them for our amusement, and the host of other uncurbed cruelties that abound out in the ‘real’ world cause us intense emotional discomfort.

We feel this pain on behalf of the tortured souls—as if we are experiencing it AS them—AND we feel this pain on behalf of our own tormented spirits, forced to witness the cruelty and feeling helpless to stop it.

Overwhelming anguish leads to depression, avoidance of the reality we face, and—worst case scenario—suicide.

When we are in such intense agony, it is very hard to act on behalf of the animals. All we can focus on is our own suffering and how to ameliorate it.

3. Overcoming Obstacles and Putdowns by Bullies and Authorities

Sensitive people by and large don’t fend off criticism as well as their neighbors and co-workers. Because they are so easily-affected by the putdowns of others, they struggle to place the far-flung words into perspective, to realize those who are directing abuse at them are really showing themselves for what they are: bullies. To the overwhelmed thought pattern of the empath, the putdowns becomes more proof that they must somehow be defective.

They have a harder time standing up to authorities—even though their moral compass is strong—because the desire to avoid conflict and an inherent kindheartedness is a large part of who they are. As such they are often mistaken for weak by those who bulldoze all those standing in their path.

4. Overcoming Defeat and Getting Back Up to Fight Again

Once a sensitive soul is down, it becomes all too tempting to roll over and play dead. They bury themselves in depression, alcohol, pills, food, TV-watching, internet surfing, or other activities that are self-defeating and don’t forward the mission of advocating for the animals.

Everyone on the front lines needs a break from time to time. Animal advocacy is a very difficult and soul-draining process, especially for those who are empathetic enough to fight on behalf of the animals.

There also comes a time in every activist or rescuer’s career when her front line days are over, she’s served her time, and she can then be of service to the cause as a mentor to others.

Ascertaining at which point on the spectrum the sensitive soul currently sits is an ongoing process, but overcoming a sense of defeat enough to stand and fight another day is a highly-commendable—and possible—goal.

Exactly How Does the Sensitive Soul Overcome These and Other Obstacles to Animal Activism?

Sometimes the most sensitive among us are surprisingly inept at inner reflection and strength-building. Most have suffered intense childhood wounding by their families of origin, and carry this pain into adulthood, mistakenly assuming they are stuck dragging it after them for life.

But our very ability to look deep, to release old, stuck issues, can make the difference in overcoming the obstacles and creating a new reality for ourselves.

Often a childhood fraught with animal abuse brings about the very desire to make a difference for the animals as adults, and letting go of the pain and blame from childhood will go a long way toward giving us the strength to stand tall for those we are now tasked with protecting.

There are a myriad of ways to let go, and there is no wrong way as long as it works for you. Just start exploring the infinite possibilities. I recommend reading “The Four Agreements” if you haven’t already done so, and take its lessons to heart. The agreements are simple yet profound, and the book is short and perfect for multiple readings—as you’ll find it easy to forget what you’ve learned and fall back into childhood patterns.

I’ve become a fan of and use tapping, aka EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), for myself and my clients, as a solid means by which to free negative emotions and build a strong inner core through drawing the positive into your life.

To teach yourself tapping (one of the reasons I love it is that you can totally teach it to yourself), visit the founder’s website and go through the lessons. You won’t regret it. http://www.emofree.com.

Below is a video to get the sensitive souls among us started in overcoming obstacles today. Tap along and you’ll start releasing a little of that pain and negativity within the first 15 minutes!

Tamira Thayne is the founder of Who Chains You Books and Spiritual Mentoring, and the pioneer of the anti-chaining movement in America. She spent 13 years on the front lines of chained-dog activism and rescue as founder and CEO of Dogs Deserve Better. She is the author of Foster Doggie Insanity: Tips and Tales to Keep your Kool as a Doggie Foster Parent, and Capitol in Chains: 54 Days of the Doghouse Blues. To book a one-on-one session with Mr. Thayne, visit the website at http://www.whochainsyou.com/activism.html.